Emma Thompson Discusses Going 'Nude at 62' for New Film
By Mona Khalifeh
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Emma Thompson is baring it all in her new film, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. Thompson spoke about going nude for her role in the film at the movie's Sundance Film Festival premiere on Saturday.
"It's very challenging to be nude at 62," Thompson said during a Cinema Café discussion, before revealing that her character completely disrobes in one scene. "She stands in front of a mirror alone and she drops her robe."
"I don't think I could've done it before the age that I am," she continued. "And yet, of course, the age that I am makes it extremely challenging because we aren't used to seeing untreated bodies on the screen."
Thompson did, however, have some support from the film's cast and crew with both her co-star, Daryl McCormack, and director, Sophie Hyde, rehearsing in the nude right alongside the British actress.
"Sophie, Daryl, and I rehearsed entirely nude and talked about our bodies, talked about our relationship with our bodies, drew them, discussed the things that we find difficult about, things we like about them, described one another's bodies," she shared.
Thompson stars as Nancy Stokes in the dramedy, a widowed schoolteacher who hires a male escort, played by McCormack, for a date, hoping to experience an orgasm for the first time.
Prior to disrobing for rehearsals, the co-stars bonded during walks in the mud and rain of London's Hampstead Heath. Navigating the park's sometimes slippery and dangerous terrain actually helped the two form a close bond as they clinged on to each other to avoid falling into the sludge.
"That was very important that we could hold onto each other and laugh," Thompson shared. "Actually, that's what we've done the entire time: held onto each other, slid about, and laugh. That walk kind of was emblematic of the whole journey."
In addition to the challenge of going nude for the film, Thompson discussed the "dreadful demands" imposed on women to have perfect bodies.
"Nothing has changed in the dreadful demands made upon women in the real-world world but also in acting," Thompson said. "This thing of having to be thin is still the same as it ever was, and actually in some ways I think it's worse now."
During a 2017 appearance on the Swedish talk show Skavlan, Thompson revealed she threatened to quit the 2008 film Brideshead Revisited, after a producer asked her co-star to lose weight.
"There was a wonderful actress I was working with in a film I did called Brideshead Revisited," Thompson recalled. "And the producer said to her, 'Will you lose some weight?' And she was absolutely exquisite!"
"I said to them, 'If you speak to her about this again, on any level, I will leave this picture. You are never to do that,'" she continued. "It's evil what's happening out there, and it's getting worse."